Nov. 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our members, families and friends from the NYSSCA Executive Board. Enjoy the holiday and time with families. Safe travels to all.


New York State School Counselor Association Annual Conference 2015
"School Counselors: Advocating Access for All!"

The Sagamore Resort, on Lake George, Bolton Landing, NY
Nov. 20-21, 2015
Call for Programs

The New York State School Counselor Association is seeking qualified presenters for the 2015 Conference! Topics addressing comprehensive school counseling program design and implementation and accountability for school counselors are welcome. Workshops relevant to the following topics will also receive special consideration:

Our Call for Programs application for this event is linked here. We will be accepting all applications online again this year. The link is also posted on the NYSSCA website. Please consider proposing a workshop to share your best practices, collaborations, research, resources and/or wisdom! The deadline for submission is May 1, 2015.

We encourage you to forward this correspondence to other school counselors in your school district and/or local counseling association. Conference information including hotel reservations can be found on the NYSSCA website at www.nyssca.org.More

White House conference for high school counselors kicks off at SDSU
More than 400 representatives from 32 states convened at San Diego State University for a two-day White House conference aimed at helping high school counselors motivate more students to get college degrees. Laura Owen, one of the conference organizers and assistant professor at SDSU, said California's counselor-to-student ratio of 1 to 1,000 has to be lowered. "If we're really going to support students that's a ridiculous task to expect our counselors in California to have a thousand students on their case load," Owen said.More

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At the conclusion of an initial or annual IEP review, after everyone has shared information about the student and developed the best IEP plan for the student's success, everyone breathes a sigh of relief. The "save" button on the computer IEP program is pressed, and voila! The educational goals become active. These active goals become the crux for the student's special education instruction. The data collection for the goals begins almost simultaneously, as the data collection is evidence for how well the student is progressing toward meeting the educational goals.More

A school counselor's updated request to Michelle Obama
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It's been almost a year since Michelle Obama raised the importance of college awareness and college opportunity, and almost a year since I asked Obama to make sure this discussion included awareness of the need for better training in college advising for the school counselors. One year isn't long in the policy-making world, but it still seems like a good time to ask: How's it going?More

Brooklyn schools ditching textbook for iPads
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Three Brooklyn schools are trading textbooks for tablets thanks to a partnership between Borough President Eric Adams and a private education company. Students at one school in Brownsville and two in Williamsburg are using iPads and software from the firm Copia to read downloaded books, communicate with classmates on projects and check in with teachers on assignments. The program provides a badly needed tech upgrade, supporters said.More

Experts share how to prevent spread of disease in schools, buses
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For months, Americans have seen images of Ebola patients in Africa on the news, but now there are two cases on our soil, one in Nebraska and one in Texas. The latter case is considered more troubling because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and officials in Texas determined the ill person had direct contact with up to 80 people — including five schoolchildren. Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles was the one who revealed that five students from different schools had possibly been exposed to the virus. The children are being monitored by Dallas County Health and Human Services staff and staying home from school for 21 days as a precaution.More

School districts weight pros, cons of later start times for high schools
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The American Academy of Pediatrics published research this summer that will likely become a hot topic at many school board meetings in the coming months and years. After studying the sleep patterns of teenagers, researchers determined that teens are not getting enough sleep, and it is impacting their ability to perform in school. According to the report, teens need at least 8.5 hours of sleep each night. The report called upon schools to move their start time to a more reasonable 8:30 a.m. to accommodate this increased sleep need.More

Most schools still don't meet federal nutrition standards
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FCC proposes $3.9 billion for school technology program
The Journal
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed a massive increase to the total funds it makes available to schools and libraries for supporting technology. In a proposal announced today, Wheeler called for a permanent $1.5 billion increase in the cap for E-rate, up from the current $2.4 billion, that would be used to pay for technology in schools. E-rate is the FCC program administered by the Universal Service Administrative Co. that supports schools and libraries with subsidies for networking and telecommunications equipment and services — including broadband Internet access and internal WiFi connections — as well as maintenance. The funds can subsidize as much as 90 percent of the cost of equipment and services.More

Trying to get better teachers into nation's poor classrooms
The Washington Post
The Obama administration ordered states to devise plans to get stronger teachers into high-poverty classrooms, correcting a national imbalance in which students who need the most help are often taught by the weakest educators. Officials at the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to state education chiefs, giving them until June to analyze whether too many of their "excellent" educators are absent from struggling schools and to craft a strategy to spread them more evenly across schools.More

Obama administration issues No Child Left Behind waiver renewal guidance
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The Obama administration is inviting states to apply to renew their waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act. And according to a guidance issued, these renewed waivers could last all the way through the 2018-2019 school year — locking down some of President Barack Obama's education policy changes well into the next presidency. The new guidelines don't radically change the criteria for escaping the law's strictures. According to an Education Department document, states will have to ensure that schools cannot receive top ratings for accountability if they are not closing "significant achievement or graduation rate gaps" between different groups of students.More

A design guide for blended learning
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As schools and leaders across the country consider technology's role in student learning, Heather Staker and Michael Horn have served as guides. Their research into "blended learning" has helped shape the national dialogue about educational technology and online learning, and provided a compass for school leaders looking to make smart decisions based on best practices.More